How to Decorate an Empty Fireplace Hole

Fireplaces usually make excellent focal points for a room, but when they are empty or no longer functional, they can be a detriment rather than an asset. Creating an interesting vignette in the firebox gives it a warm and inviting look, filling the vacant hole and letting the fireplace continue to serve as a design element, not an eyesore. After a quick transformation, your guests will be drawn to your fireplace for all the right reasons.

Cut a piece of thick cardboard to fit the shape of the floor of the firebox. Spray the cardboard with spray adhesive.

Attach aluminium foil to the cardboard. Lay the uncreased foil carefully on the board so that the centre of the foil attaches evenly. Smooth the foil into place with your hands, working toward the edges in long strokes.

Wrap 1 inch of the foil over the edge to the underside of the cardboard. Apply a bead of glue on the underside to hold the turned-under edge in place.

Place the board inside the firebox foil side up.

Find a mirror that will fit against the back wall of the firebox. Set the mirror on the cardboard at a slight tilt so that it will stand up.

Position candles across the foil. Use taller pillar candles in the centre and smaller ones toward the edges. Leave room between the pillars.

Pour broken glass mulch around the candles so that the foil is covered. The mulch should be an inch thick. Use a colour that works with the decor of the room.

Light the candles before guests arrive to create a fire in your fireplace that reflects off the mirror and causes the glass mulch to glisten.


The cardboard allows you to keep the glass contained so that you can store it for later use if you change your decorations quickly. Simply pour the glass into a large plastic zip bag. If you need two sheets of foil to cover your board, divide the cardboard down the centre and butt the edges of the foil sheet to produce a clean look.

Things You'll Need

  • Thick cardboard
  • Spray adhesive
  • Aluminium foil
  • White glue
  • Mirror
  • Pillar candles
  • Glass mulch
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.